Friday, January 26, 2007

here we are

(Note: this poem was written during the Vietnam years. How much has changed?)

here we are at home
safely (it seems) and warmhearted
but in despair about this and that
bills to pay (it's xmas) or problems to iron out
vietnam, black power, the f.l.q. and so on
race-riots and protest marches:
these begin at home, too
in desperation
though we are all warmhearted
about our plights: what to buy, who to see
how to pop the question or find a job
the wife is taking a bath    for her, nil desperandum
because the water's hot, the soap is bubbly and the drain runs freely
these are our commitments to society -- what we take for granted
but our big talk -- this is straight from god
the horse's mouth or tipsters who know the winner
-- a gamble we can afford to lose
so we write our letters to the editor and feel satisfied
the rumblings of discontent are few: a burning dervish
or a recumbent bum ... but when the going gets rough, look out
we'll fight in the streets and on the beaches:
so we loll in bed, eat our soup, say our prayers
and die in mediocre circumstances, halfway between the ford and the split-level
in transit to somewhere
no inheritance .. . no dower to posterity
although the water's hot and the drain runs freely
look me up in the telephone book
(yellow pages)

c. 196_

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